Monday, May 17, 2010

The Process of Change

I think the process of change is like carving a mountain into a statue. Or maybe it is like the slow and constant errosion of a sandy bluff. You either need big equipment to make even a dent or you need constant nagging pressure until there is a great collapse.
We have been changing our living room. The big equipment of doors and windows, cabinetry and electrical work have been the earth movers reshaping our environment. The nagging, well, I think that has been me. Constant pressure to get a little done at a time until it is time for a big push.
This week we saw a partial slide in the bluff. To do the final electrical work, we needed to remove some old wall unit parts. We have been emptying it for some time, but that sucker weighed a ton and we had to move it out. To where? Right now it is on Craig's list as it sits on the side of the house under a tarp. I think I hurt something. But we got it done and I believe that I am healing now. We also moved a large coffee table, a decor piece in the dining room, and all the other furniture slid around the room a few times while we worked. The last piece (for now) went into the wooly room to become a wall unit for the wool collection. There is one more piece to match it. That will go to the wooly room in time, but right now, it is holding the stereo system in the living room.
After the electrical work was done, I patched holes in the wall, textured and painted, cleaned up dust and crud, and did a touch up paint on the fireplace front. Things are looking rather spiffy, if I do say so myself. Then we had a stereo/tv/speakers wiring test- Failure, danger Will Robinson, Failure. Arms flailing, sad face.
The picture quality on the tv, with the expensive cables and extensive wiring was crapola. After some thoughtful trouble-shooting, my main man found the problem. The connection between the vcr and stereo was causing interference and making storm surf in the picture quality. This was remedied with some high tech optical wiring. Now we have great picture, great sound, and tv antenna. Yes indeedy, no cable here. We almost never watch the tv so some of this may have seemed silly, but sometimes we watch the news or a movie. We want things to work when we decide to actually use them. Antenna is good for us, and cheap too. So now for the first time in years, the antenna is connected to the high definition tv.
Little bits are getting done. And in the wake of the landslide, there is clean up to be done. Today, I was organizing the wooly room into the new cabinet. Well, of course, things had to get all tossed around in order to get it into the room and things must get reorganized after the move. So part of today was reorganization. And part was a temporary/permanted settlement location for the boxes from the farmer's market. Since I won't be there for two months, I need to put stuff someplace and stop tripping over it. And I need to be able to get to all the wooly wonderful stuff for my business and work. This has now left a large gap in the living room floor. And in the dining room wall. Space to walk with out tripping and room to move around the chairs.
This is change- open space in an organized style. Not clutter and piles. Not stacks. Not dust. Part of me is determined to keep it this way and part of me wants to fill it up with new stuff. There is still a long way to go before all the work is done. The new baseboards and wall cabinets, carpet, front door, bookcase doors, thorough cleaning, new light fixture are still on the list. Much nagging still to do before the next land slide.
But the change in the room is moving forward. And the change in me is struggling to keep up. I am working toward an organized, clean living room that is easy for me to take care of. Where I can do a bit of work, entertain friends, exercise on the floor, and control the chaos. Now I have to make me fit into that room. Much nagging left to do there, too. But I have promised this to myself and I am indeed working on it. As this year progresses, I am cleaning out clutter, cleaning deeply, and keeping it clean after it is organized.
Now, I want you to picture a scene in the movie, Wall-e. I am cleaning this little spot and the camera pans out to show the entire planet covered in trash. This is the great landslide that hangs over Eduard and I for when our parents have to "let it go". The amount of stuff that will try to find a home in our house is overwhelming. We are practicing saying "no" and holding the door shut. This is also a process of change. Instead of incoming, we are working on deflection. I give all the world fair warning. The beanie babies/barbie dolls and collector plates are coming to get you.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Remodel part deux

The bookcase is in, well except for the doors, but the handles are in. It took two tries to get the handles in, but finally they are perfect enough for me and I have picked them up. And the doors have made it to the cabinet guy who is suddenly busy beyond his wildest nightmare and hasn't gotten a chance to work on Part Deux- the entertainment unit.
But somewhere in there, I know I asked him to do the baseboards for the dining room and finish the living room to match- 80 ft. Finally the dining room would be finished- 7 years. Then, I actually looked at the dining room.
I have lined one wall (14ft) with cabinets for dry and canned goods, a bookcase, and a china hutch (full to the brim) with stuff stacked on every top. I have stuck the no-longer-needed living room cabinet in there for storage. I have stacked my boxes of jars and meat slicer, meat grinder, pasta maker. We have a little table against the window.
OH SHIT! I have to move it all out so that I can have baseboards. What was I thinking?
Today I have spent three hours packing the china hutch and filling a little niche in the wooly room. I have managed to extricate a small box of stuff for charity. I have identified several more boxes of stuff to go to charity. I have not done anything with the stuff on top of the cabinet or the dry goods. I am currently overwhelmed and need a break. I have collected so much shit, uh, stuff over the years that I just like to look at, that I can't stand to look at it. Stuff must go! Soon.
So that brings me to my other collections. I have been discarding wool that I don't want. Some to the trash, some to other spinnners, some to the market- some of it I used as packing matterial for the china. I can now find the bed in the wooly room. What about in my bedroom? Well, I did go through my clothing and pulled out two bags full of stuff. And in the pantry I tossed a bunch of stuff that had expired.
I was thinking about all the stuff at my mom's house, and how I don't want any of it. I started thinking about my stuff and about my kids (and Eduard's kids) and how they won't want any of it. Is there anyone out there who really wants any of it? I know the thrift stores are full, the landfill is full, the storage units are full, the cars are full, the houses are full. When the boomers go, where will all the stuff go? The entire country is full. We don't actually have to make any more stuff here because there is enough stuff for several generations- except computers for game playing, of which there is never enough.
So, as I contemplate my next step in the remodel- I am going to oust stuff rather than gather it in, so that my children don't have to deal with all this stuff. I want to live a cleaner, less cluttered, more organized life. I want to actually use some of my (5 sets of china) dishes, (7 tea sets) (200 Japanese little bowls and specialty sushi trays)
serving ware, and (2 16 place stirling silver sets) utensils.
I am going to sell a spinning wheel, too. I have embarrassed myself by exposing my clutter and really need to get rid of a few things.